Gregory S. Berns

Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics and Director of the Center for Neuropolicy

and Facility for Education and Research in Neuroscience (FERN)

Professor in Psychology Department, Emory University

Ph.D. University of California, Davis, 1990
M.D.  University of California, San Diego, 1994


Research Interests

My research is aimed at understanding the neurobiological basis for individual preferences and how neurobiology places constraints on the decisions that people (and animals) make -- a field now known as neuroeconomics. To achieve this goal, we use functional MRI to measure the activity in key parts of the brain involved in decision making. We then link these activity traces to various phenotypes of decision making. For example, we have used this activity to predict the commercial success of popular songs – the first prospective demonstration in neuromarketing. These results have found application in understanding common stock investing errors, and more recently, in the stock market’s reaction to earnings announcements.  We are also studying decision-making over “sacred values” in the brain and its implications for terrorism.

And finally, we are using fMRI to study canine cognitive function in awake, unrestrained dogs. The goals of these projects are to non-invasively map the perceptual and decision systems of the dog's brain and to predict likelihood of success in service dogs.

Recent Publications

How Dogs Love Us

A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

Published by Amazon New Harvest (October 2013)!




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Gregory S. Berns, MD, PhD
36 Eagle Row
Atlanta, GA 30322
Phone: (404) 727-2556
Email: gberns (at) emory (dot) edu
Twitter: @gberns